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TitleNorth Sea oil and gas and the price of oil
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'The effect of the continued lower crude oil price, $35/barrel at the time of the survey, is being felt across the energy system. Impacts on the oil and gas supply industry include reduced investment, imbalanced markets and job losses'. Energy Barometer, 2016

History of North Sea

'The North Sea is the shallow, northeastern arm of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the British Isles and the mainland of northwestern Europe and covering an area of 220,000 square miles (570,000 square km). Discoveries of petroleum and natural gas beneath the seafloor began in 1959, and the UK began recovering oil from the North Sea in 1975'. Britannica, 2015

A short video on the history of the North Sea Oil. BBC. July 26 2016

Books in the EI library include: The official history of the North Sea oil and gas: Volume 1: The growing dominance of the state and The official history of North Sea oil and gas: Volume 2: Moderating the state's role

Location map

An offshore interactive map from the Oil and Gas Authority.

What has caused low crude oil prices?

Put simply, supply and demand drives crude oil prices. When oil supply increases but demand for oil doesn't at the same rate, oil prices drop, which is what we've seen since 2014. Over the last several years the US has seen an increase in production because of a shale oil boom forcing oil importers out. Countries that once sold to the US are forced to trade and compete in the Asian markets causing them to drop their prices. Other countries such as Canada and Iraq have also seen an increase in production and exports year on year. Demand for oil has lagged due to vehicles becoming more energy efficient, and economies in Europe and developing countries have weakened. OPEC has been asked to lower production to improve oil prices. On 28 September 2016 they came to a tentative agreement to do this later on in 2016.

How the US and OPEC drive oil prices. The New York Times. October 5 2015.

What drives crude oil prices? An analysis of 7 factors that influence oil markets, with chart data updated monthly and quarterly. EIA. July 12 2016.

Oil Prices: What’s Behind the volatility? Simple economics. The New York Times. September 29 2016

Oil prices rise 6% after OPEC agrees to limit crude output. The Guardian. September 29 2016

Saudi Arabia Says Many Nations Will Join OPEC Output Cuts. Bloomberg. October 19 2016

The effect of low crude oil price on the North Sea

Brent crude oil prices started falling in 2014 and in January 2016 the price of Brent crude oil fell to below $28 a barrel. This has had devastating effects on the North Sea including investment cut backs from top companies and thousands of job cuts.

Just how low can oil prices go and who is hardest hit? BBC. 18 January 2016.

Oil price crash: How the industry's decline will affect the UK economy Independent. January 18 2016

North Sea oil production creeps up from record lows Telegraph. September 14 2016

North Sea oil and gas output rises but investment dries up Telegraph. September 26 2016

Oil price and stock markets rise as OPEC cuts crude output The Guardian. September 29 2016

North Sea Oil and Gas Drilling Activity Plunges to All-Time Low Bloomberg. October 7 2016

North Sea's Enquest enters £2.5bn restructuring to survive looming debt crunch Telegraph. October 13 2016

Future of the North Sea Oil and Gas

Approximately 42 billion barrels have been extracted from the North Sea and 24 billion could remain meaning there's 30-40 years of production remaining. It has been reported that the North Sea has two years to improve performance to avoid premature decline.

North Sea oil: Facts and figures BBC. 24 February 2014.

A quarter of North Sea oil platforms 'could be scrapped in 10 years' The Guardian. 7 February 2016.

The future of the North Sea Oil & Gas. PWC. 2016.

North Sea in 'two year' race to secure an economic future The Telegraph. 13 June 2016.

Economic report  Oil and Gas UK. 2016

Untapped North Sea oil and gas is 'significant opportunity' BBC. October 19 2016.

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